Clinical Epidemilogy published supplement to examine a disturbing pattern of missing TNM stage information in Danish Cancer Registry


In order to closely examine the completeness and pattern of missing information on TNM stage cancer patients, Clinical Epidimiogy has published a supplement consisting of seven entries: An editorial examining the quality of cancer registry data; original research outlining the completeness of TNM cancer staging for melanoma and the completeness of TNM staging of small-cell and non-small-cell lung cancer in the Danish Cancer Registry (DCR); and several short reports discussing the completeness of breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and colon and rectal cancer staging in the DCR.

According to supplement co-author Mette Søgaard, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, the studies in the present supplement examined the completeness and pattern of missing information on TNM stage for selected cancer sites recorded in the DCR. "We observed a substantial variation in the completeness of TNM stage registration in the DCR according to cancer site, and the proportions of missing stage information were generally not trivial. In particular, complete information on stage was not available for two thirds of prostate cancer patients and more than half of bladder cancer patients."

Another finding that Dr. Søgaard found potentially disturbing was that consistently across all cancer sites, the proportion of patients for whom cancer stage was not recorded was higher in elderly patients and those with high level of comorbidity. For example, information on TNM stage was available for 75% of patients with prostate cancer aged 0-39 years compared to only 11% of those aged 80 years and older.

Clinical Epidemiology is published by Dove Medical Press. Dove Press is a privately held company specializing in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.

Updated 23 July 2014